Attorney once convicted of murder back in practice

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(KANSAS CITY, Mo., AP) – A Kansas City attorney whose conviction in the beating death of his law partner was overturned in 2006 can resume his practice, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
The court ordered the law license of Richard Buchli II to be reinstated, with certain conditions.
Buchli was convicted in 2002 of murder in the death of his law partner, Richard Armitage. Prosecutors alleged that Buchli’s financial problems were the motivation behind the killing.
A judge overturned Buchli’s conviction in 2006, finding that evidence had been withheld from the defense during his trial. Prosecutors dismissed the case last year, after a judge in 2010 threw out all of the state’s evidence.
While he will be allowed to practice law again, Buchli will be on probation for three years and required to report quarterly to a probation “monitor” on the status of his practice and about any criminal or civil actions against him, The Kansas City Star reported.
He will be required to take continuing legal education courses and carry malpractice insurance, and a mentor will safeguard his clients’ money. Buchli also must undergo a mental health evaluation within 60 days, with the results reported to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, which oversees attorney discipline in Missouri.
Buchli said Tuesday he would have to discuss the order with his lawyer before he could comment.
Buchli has not been acquitted in the case, meaning charges could be refiled someday. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has said her office continues to investigate the case.